Well I'm not really sure how to put this, I just figured that I might just let my romantic side show for a little while. It's a little rushed with the romance, but there will be explanations as to why. Hope all of you like it, and guess what, I doubt it ends how all of you would have thought. Read and Enjoy everyone and yes this chapter also has been changed and edited.
"Inner Hollows speaking"
Ichigo watched as Hanazono continued to stare up at the rain. Droplets of water followed each and every curve of her face, matting her hair against her head. There was something majestic about the scene before him. It was like someone had somehow managed to bring forth everything pure and innocent in Hanazono that was hiding behind layers of thick stone walls. Ichigo turned towards his friend/charge and brought his hand up to wipe away one of the rain drops that had landed on her nose. Hanazono turned into the touch and closed her eyes as Ichigo's hand slid to cup her cheek. "I don't know what's wrong with me, but maybe this is why I'm always locked indoors." Hanazono whispered, her voice barely being caught on the wind and pushed to Ichigo's ears. "My defenses seem to be crumbling around me."
"There's nothing wrong with that." Ichigo slowly leaned down, using his own tall form to block some of the rain from Hanazono's shorter one. Using the hand placed on her cheek he tilted her head up. Hanazono's eye lids slowly fluttered open and the two stared at each other.
"Told you it would take less than a week old man." Ogichi stood on one of the tilted buildings in Ichigo's Inner World staring into a nearby window where he had a view of everything that was going on through Ichigo's eyes.
"As I said before, I did not nor do I, doubt you. You yourself knew about their connection since you awoke. Ever since they had briefly met..." Zangetsu, unlike the younger being sharing the world with him, sat upon a flag pole quite a ways back. When he was that the Hollow wasn't even paying attention to his words he sighed and glanced back up at the other buildings. He could still see what was going on through any of the windows, but decided that he didn't need to put his nose into Ichigo's more personal life… even if that's partly what he was doing when he and Ogichi talked to the young Substitute Shinigami just a little while earlier.
"You still have to pay up old man. No going back on our bet." Ogichi turned away from the window to go and claim his reward but froze mid-step.
"What is wrong?" Zangetsu got to his feet when he felt it. A different kind of power transferred from Hanazono to Ichigo, a power that was familiar and yet different. The funny thing was, Ogichi was radiating the power that was transferring itself to Hanazono. "Who would have thought?" Zangetsu said with a small, nearly invisible smile.
After moments passed the storm around the two seemed to change its course. Wind whipped wildly around the town, lightning flashed in the sky and rain pounded the ground, but where the two Shinigami stood only a light patter of rain reached them. "Hana I..."
Hanazono laughed lightly unintentionally interrupting him, "you quickly got used to calling me Hana."
"I guess it just feels right. Just like it's alright to let your defenses down like you are right now."
"That's not how I was raised or trained." Hanazono brought her hands up to hold onto Ichigo's Shinigami uniform. It was like she was trying to use him as a replacement wall around herself. As something to protect herself from everything around her and Ichigo oddly enough didn't mind in the least. He could, and would, stand strong for her as long as she needed him to.
"Then do what you want to and just throw away everything that you were taught." Slowly Ichigo leaned forward closing the distance between them. Never had he felt as great of a pull towards someone as he did Hanazono. He'd never felt like this with any of his female friends; not Tatsuki, Orihime, Senna or Rukia. He'd never thought he'd feel this strongly after only a day. It almost felt impossible to him as well, but something inside of him said to ignore that little fact. It then took mere seconds for him to realize that what they had felt earlier wasn't just to bring them to this place, but to each other's company. Feeling her breath on his cool skin Ichigo took the final leap and brought his lips down to Hanazono's.
Hanazono's eyes had closed as soon as the gap between them had completely disappeared. In all her 17 years never before had she cared for another like this. Her mother and father's relationship, or lack there of, was just another reason why she had distanced herself from others. Kenpachi and Yachiru hadn't asked for an emotional friendship. Theirs' was based off of respect. From the start Tōshirō had most definitely not wanted any kind of real relationship between the two of them to occur. They were two of the youngest outcasts in Soul Society and had formed a sort of mutual agreement to defend the other, even before Matsumoto found him, but after a very short amount of time he had become the closest thing to family she had. This was new, but it was nice... but something about it didn't feel completely like her. Like it wasn't only her emotions that were flowing through her at that moment in time.
Hanazono brought her arms up to wrap around Ichigo's neck and stood on her tip toes to pull herself closer. Ichigo pulled away to catch his breath and smiled down at Hanazono. She was slightly panting from the lack of air. Left arm wrapping around Hanazono's waist and right hand catching her hair, cradling her neck, they kissed once more. A sudden spark across their minds caused their eyes to fly open as each of the teens could feel themselves slip away while something replaced their conscious minds. Ichigo grimaced as soon as he saw where he was. His Inner World was none to calming right now. Something about it just seemed different... and there was a snow toped mountain range in the distance, which defiantly was new. "Ogichi, old man Zangetsu get your asses out here right now!" Ichigo's voice echoed around the buildings.
"No need to yell Ichigo, I can hear you just fine."
Ichigo spun around to glare at Zangetsu. "Damn it old man, explain why I'm here and not out there enjoying my night right now. Where is Ogichi?"
"You'll find that your body is still enjoying its moment with Hanazono's body, though you will also find that neither of you are in control at the moment." Zangetsu was walking towards Ichigo up the side of the building. "As for your other question, you will find that the answer to your first is the answer for your second."
"You're telling me that Ogichi is running around with my body right now?" Ichigo's left eye started to twitch in annoyance at the thought. 'What sort of hell is that guy going to cause this time?' Then, suddenly, it hit him. "Why the hell is Ogichi kissing Hana?!"
"That took you a while to figure out." Zangetsu sighed and pointed to one of the windows around them. "I will show you, but only if you keep silent."
Sighing Ichigo sat down on the edge of the building, letting his feet dangle in the open air. It was weird sitting sideways on an upright building with your feet dangling over the edge, he'd probably never get used to it. He glanced over at the mountain and sighed, something about that just didn't seem to fit into his Inner World like the buildings did. Looking up at the window in front of him Ichigo was tempted to bust it. Standing there was Hanazono, her eyes opening briefly to look up at him… or well, what was supposed to be him. Her eyes were the same colors of a Hollow's: yellow and black. There was a small smirk placed upon her beautiful face and her hair seemed to slightly darken and shorten a little. What really caught his eye though were the bloody tears that started to fill up her left eye, but the tears didn't fall. Ichigo's body dipped down to capture Hanazono's in another kiss. Hanazono's eyes closed, but Ichigo's didn't. The window showed as he just watched the female in his arms. Ichigo looked away from the window, not wanting to really see anymore. "If that's not me and Hana, but instead Ogichi, then does that mean Hana also has a Hollow living inside of her?"
"Sadly we just figured this out, but we can tell that she is like you Ichigo. Mangetsu Hanazono has a Hollow, but unlike the Vizards, her Hollow is fully a part of her. Other than that I have no other answers for you."
"How is that possible?" Ichigo thought that he knew almost everything about Hollows that there was to know by now, but not once had he ever heard of anything like this happening other than himself. Shinji and the others didn't understand it much either. Ogichi was more a part of Ichigo than any of their Hollows were with them. Through everything that he had learned in his time as a Shinigami he had never come across someone who was never once human but instead was part Hollow part Shinigami. "That Hollow the other night said that her mother was supposed to kill her father... do you think that maybe her father is a Hollow? If so how is that possible?"
"I could explain it to you, but I do believe that falls under advice that Ogichi gives, not I."
"I don't mean that old man!" Ichigo's face heated up as a slight blush formed on his cheeks.
"Alright, what the hell is going on?" Hanazono screamed as she looked around her. One moment she's enjoying kissing Ichigo in the rain and the next she's standing around by herself in some place she had never been before. Kicking the dirt in front of her Hanazono sat down on a nearby log. Everything around her was wrong, but at the same time perfectly fine. She was in a clearing in the middle of a forest with a lake next to her, a forest before and around her and a mountain encircling it all. The mountain had a waterfall that flowed water down into the lake. Oh yes, this silence and solitude would usually be just fine with Hanazono had she known how she had gotten there, but the problem was, everything wasn't colored properly. It was all gray, white and black. The moon shining upon her was black while the sky was white. The water was gray with a white colored moon reflecting in it. While the ground, mountain and trees were a grayish-black. Yes, everything most diffidently was wrong.
Hanazono heard strange voices coming from the lake and decided to take a look. Curiosity had always got the better of her, usually at the worst of times. Walking over to the waterside she knelt beside it and leaned over so that she had a proper view of what was going on. There, in the water, was the view of Ichigo that she'd last seen but something was off. His eyes were yellow and black and there was a creepy grin plastered on his face. Hanazono lost sight of anything else as lids closed into another kiss. "Damn it all to hell. What in the world is going on here? Who the hell is kissing Ichigo using my body?"
Ogichi pulled away and blinked as he felt himself being drawn back into Ichigo's inner world. "Why don't I get some time to enjoy myself King-sama?"
"Because just like every other time you're not allowed out! Be glad I'm not sticking around to kick your ass." Ichigo was pissed to say the least. Yeah Ogichi had forced himself into Ichigo's body before, but this time it was as though the switch was made with consent. Consent that Ichigo didn't think he had given, but right now, he couldn't really believe anything. "Now get back to where you belong."
"Fine then, but your little friend sure is a good kisser." Before Ichigo could retort he saw something move in the corner of his eye. He turned his head to the river and watched as the Hollow from last night began walking towards them, the Hollow's master sitting on its shoulder. The Hollow reached a hand out towards Hanazono, attempting to grab her as its arm grew longer at a surprisingly fast pace.
"Hana watch out," Ichigo yelled, moving to block the Hollow from its target.
"Ichigo," he thought he heard Hanazono call out. Behind him she too moved to protect Ichigo from a lower ranking Arrancar that had appeared. Neither Shinigami teen heard their names being called by Ichigo's friends that were racing towards them. Both of them having moved at the last second had caused some problems: Hanazono was carried away by the Arrancar, while Ichigo was pulled into the river and disappeared along with the strange Hollow/master pair. Rukia dropped to her knees as she watched Renji and Ishida jump into the river after Ichigo. Orihime and Chad stayed by Rukia's side, knowing that they couldn't follow the Arrancar after it had left. Silence filled the air as the storm finally pounded the ground where the two kidnapped teens had been. Renji and Ishida finally came to stand back up on the grassy area looking a little lost. They couldn't find a single trance of what had happened to Ichigo in the river.
Standing up to her full height Rukia set her jaw in a determined manner. "We're going to Soul Society."
"What?" Orihime looked at her friend as she tried to keep her hood from flying off of her head. "Rukia, how will that help? Shouldn't we be going after them?"
"Rukia's right. We don't know where they took them and we need back up. That didn't look like two Arrancars. Didn't you see the one in the river? It was different than the other and the Hollow it sat on was almost human like. More so than I've seen Hollows of that level be. I think we're dealing with two different kidnappings and Hanazono and Ichigo got in the way of the intended targets." Renji spoke, trying to calm his friends.
"Damn it I was so close. She always has to push me aside." A Hollow female's voice sounded in the trees around her. "Damn you Hana, you just had to go and get yourself kidnapped right while we were both enjoying ourselves for once!"